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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  August 9, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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anticipation of the big announcement the night before it was to happen. >> rick santorum, bless him, said today he would have a big announcement tomorrow in iowa. there are no indications the big announcement is that he's quitting, but never a good sign the first thing everybody asked are you quitting. far from it. rick santorum was preparing to unload this bomb shell on the presidential race. >> i am announcing today and have announced that i am going to be voting and supporting senator rick santorum on january 3rd in the iowa caucuses. you know, the first time -- [ applause ] >> who's that guy? anybody? rick santorum's
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the whole country ought to be paying attention because there's actually a big problem in ohio for this year. we all remember the ohio voting disaster that was the presidential election of 2004,
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an estimated 170,000 ohioans leaving their polling place without voting because the lines there were just too long. by the way, that is a significantly larger number of voters than the margin of victory by which george w. bush won ohio.
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something going on in ohio that i can't believe isn't more of a front-page story around the country. eliminating those three days of early voting in ohio is not actually the biggest scandal in what ohio is doing this year. that is a scandal. but this is worse. the biggest scandal in ohio is what's happening on a county by county basis there, where the state's plan right now is to allow more hours and more days to vote if you live in a
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republican-leaning county than if you live in a democratic-leaning county. seriously. republicans on ohio county elections boards have been voting in favor of adding early voting on nights and weekends in republican-leaning counties, but the republicans on the county election boards in democratic counties are voting against extra voting on nights and weekends. county election boards are evenly split between democrats and republicans, but the republicans are voting for expanded voting hours in the republican counties and they are voting against that in democratic counties, and in the democrats counties where the republicans are objecting to expanded early voting, the republican secretary of state has personally intervened to break the tieo side with the objecting republicans, to make sure that, in fact, democratic-leaning county will not have early voting on nights and weekends but the republican-leaning counties will. here's what that means in real terms, democratic leaning counties in ohio, homes of
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cleveland and columbus and akron, where president obama won 2-1 and 3-2 and 3-2, those counties will not have early voting on nights and weekends, but republican-leaning counties, places where john mccain won 2-1 and 3-2, like warren counties and butler counties, they will have extended voting, nights and weekends, come on down, whatever's convenient for you. the secretary of state in ohio is personally making sure fewer voting hours in democratic-leaning counties than republican-leaning counties, that is happening right now. and yesterday, that guy, john husted said that he had a major announcement to make about the process of voting in ohio. oh, my god, i don't care about the little boy crying wolf, i want to hear that announcement. this is an issue of national significance. anybody who cares about what's going to happen in the presidential election in the fall has to care about how badly ohio is screwing this up. to have this insanely partisan
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outcome where you have more opportunities to vote if you're a republican and fewer opportunities to vote if you're a democrat, a big announcement from the guy who was making that possible, let's hear that big announcement. well, the big announcement about voting in ohio today from the secretary of state, his big announcement, is that you can now change your address online at a website. that's the announcement? that's the announcement. they put out a follow-up announcement later in the day to announce several hundred ohio residents had, in fact, already changed their addresses online. that's it. but in terms of the glaring flashing red light emergency that's underway in ohio where republicans are being given more opportunities to vote than democrats in a presidential election year when ohio is maybe the most important swing state in the country, yeah, nothing to say about that, not big news, nothing to say about that,
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nothing to see here. joining us now, e.j. dionne, msnbc contributor, brookings institute senior fellow. e.j., good to see you. thank you for being here. >> good to be with you. good to have the early slot, given this story we're doing. >> yeah, you know, i have to say, i don't know if i'm predisposed to be more interested in issues like this than others in the media, but i don't understand why this isn't a bigger story. do you see this as having national significance? >> it's huge, and i think the explanation of why this isn't a bigger story is a kind of paradox. this story is almost always treated in partisan terms as a republicans say this, democrats say that, and it is entirely true there is a big partisan element to this story. republicans, where they have control, are trying to make it harder for democratic groups to vote, and occasionally, they'll admit that, as the legislator did in pennsylvania where he said what we're doing here is mitt romney will carry the
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state, but this is much bigger than a partisan story. we passed a great law in our country in 1965 called the voting rights act, and the voting rights act was designed to tear down illegitimate barriers to voting, particularly for african-americans, and this, what's happening in this election year, ohio is an excellent example, is, i think, the most fundamental attack on the right to vote in the country since the voting rights act was passed. and it's happening all across the country and this thing happening in ohio is so blatant. we're supposed to believe in equal protection under the law. it can't make sense that if you live in one place, it's easier to vote than if you live in another place. there's got to be legal action taken here, because i cannot believe this would stand the scrutiny of any fair-minded judge. >> e.j., in terms of scrutiny in the political world and from the media, so much of the other -- the other reporting, the other attention that has been paid to
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voting rights this year has been specifically on the issue of voter i.d., because we've seen the voting i.d. laws changed in so many republican-controlled states. now, i think part of the reason that hasn't actually become even more of a story than it has been is that the republicans have put forward a red herring that there is voter fraud and voter i.d. will somehow combat a problem that they say exists in voter fraud. it's a factually challenged red herring, but that's what red herrings are for. on the early voting issue, no fraud issue, no red herring, nothing they can say is a problem about early voting other than the idea it might cost money. could the idea it's too expensive for the states be used to block interest and attention here? >> but why is it okay to pay for early voting in warren county but not early voting in cuyahoga county? yes, it costs extra money. democracy is worth spending a little money on, and the notion
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if there is a financial problem in some of those counties, then that should be taken care of, because you cannot allow an election to be tilted by money. i mean, we're already letting elections be tilted by money in the campaign finance system. this is a kind of indirect poll tax. if you live in the wrong county, if they have more budget problems, sorry, you're not going to have the same voting rights as people in other counties, so it is -- i think that's at least -- no, the voter fraud thing is a huge red herring. this is another red herring. red herrings may be easier for them to vote in ohio than for real people. >> real people, provided they live in democratic leading counties. e.j. dionne, of course, the author of our divided political heart. e.j., thank you for your clarity and taking time to join us. i really appreciate it. it should be noted, we have asked the secretary of state of ohio to join us on this program
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to discuss what it is he thinks he's doing with the county-by-county voting rules in the state of ohio. we have not been yet to secure his agreement for an interview, but we, you know, live in hope. okay, do you remember when mitt romney's pitch to be president of the united states was all about the economy? mr. romney, what are your thoughts about anything but the economy, he would answer, there is nothing but the economy. that's all i want to talk about. that was the way it was for a very long time, but that has changed now, and the quantitative empirical data that shows how it changed is kind of nuts, and we've got that next. we're laying it out. plus, later on, the best new thing in the world comes with extra screaming with joy at your television. please, stay with us. [ male announcer ] this is anna, her long day teaching the perfect swing begins with back pain and a choice. take advil, and maybe have to take up to four in a day. or take aleve, which can relieve pain all day with just two pills. good eye.
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except, apparently, for one small highly visible, very, very well-funded part of our country. that story is coming up next. are you okay, babe? i'm fine. ♪ ♪ ♪ with a subaru you can always find a way. announcer: love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge.
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well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs. a place where innovation meets determination... and businesses lead the world. the new new york works for business. find out how it can work for yours at thenewny.com. looking at the official mitt romney campaign page on youtube is kind of like looking at a big sliced cross section of a giant tree. you can read the rings of the tree to get interesting, chronological data about what the campaign has done in terms of its public message. the chronology of the campaign ads is fascinating, and while i have always had a bit of a grudge about how bad the youtube search engine is, you can arrange videos from a particular account, say the mitt romney campaign account. you can arrange the videos in chronological order as a pretty
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empirically sound way by seeing what mitt romney has been running on and when. that turns out to be a story that has a surprise ending. check this out. mitt romney basically wrapped up the primary, as you know, in may. by may, the campaign no longer had to bother engaging with his one-time primary rivals, no longer had to answer levies from gingrich, santorum, or ron paul. but the general election campaign was underway, and here is what the mitt romney message looked like then, according to their own archives back in may just as the general election was officially getting underway. >> have you had enough of president obama's attacks on free enterprise? >> we've seen layoffs, cutbacks. >> you've heard of solyndra. >> when others shied away, mitt romney's private sector leadership team stepped in.
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>> what would a romney presidency be like? day one, president romney immediately approves the keystone pipeline. >> we're going to keep america strong. >> that was mitt romney in may, about ten tv ads and web ads, jobs, jobs, the economy, s solynd solyndra, economy, economy, drill, drill, drill, more jobs. then june. >> from day one, president romney focuses on the economy and the deficit. from day one as president, mitt romney's strong leadership will make all the difference on jobs. >> of course, the economy isn't where it needs to be. the private sector is doing fine. >> well, mr. president, you've had your moment. >> day one, president romney moves to repeal obama care and attacks the deficit.
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then romney moves to cut taxes. president romney stands up to china. president romney reverses obama's offshore drilling ban. day one, job one, repeal obama care. mitt romney has a plan to get america working. >> that was the mitt romney campaign in a capsule from june, via about a dozen different ads, the economy, jobs, the economy, the economy, down with obama care, tax cuts, the economy, the economy. the economy with specific reference to china, drill, baby, drill, economy, that was june. then july. >> where did the obama stimulus money go? >> barack obama's campaign and allies will run more negative ads against this republican nominee in 2012 than ever run in the history of the world. >> obama's dishonest campaign, another reason why america has lost confidence in barack obama. >> it's time we had somebody who believes in us. >> freedom and free enterprise are what creates jobs.
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>> everything i do is going to be focussed on getting this economy going. >> so you look at the ten or so ads that came out of the romney campaign in the month of july, the economy, the economy, the economy, president obama is a liar, the economy, jobs, jobs, jobs, the economy. all but three of the ads that month were about economy and jobs, and the ones that were not were about how terrible and horrible president obama is as a person. say what you will about the guy, mitt romney has been very focussed, his campaign has been really focussed, looking at these things that the campaign did overtly on its own terms. it's a great way to cut out all the clutter of the campaign and focus on what they were trying to do, what they started on their own terms, because these are the things the campaign was paying to say. in some cases, paying to get on tv. that message for the entire election, may, june, july, hugely dominated. about 95% dominated, if you add it all up, by the economy. and now all within the last week, we have this.
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>> who shares your values? as president, barack obama has never visited israel. >> under obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job, they just send your welfare check. >> who shares your values? president obama used his health care plan to declare war on religion. when religious freedom is threatened, who do you want to stand with? >> august is young, but there has been a very dramatic turn in mitt romney's messaging. after focusing like a laser on exactly what he said he was going to focus on like a laser for may and june and july, for the first three months of the general election campaign, dozens of ads exclusively focussed, 95% focussed on the economy, this week now we've seen three new ads and the subjects are birth control, welfare, and israel. what's going on? oh, look, here's what's going on. if you look closely at the gallop daily tracking poll, you
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can see not only obama is ahead of mitt romney, but you can see a fascinating piece of data emerging from the other 8% of people not included in the romney v. obama totals, the people undecided. the undecided voters in gallup's tracking poll has been between 6% and 8%. 6% of registered voters are not decided who they are going to vote for. we didn't get to that the last time around in 2008 until october. it's only early august, and we are already at the point in the campaign, which is usually a very late point in the campaign, where each candidate stops trying to persuade anybody who's undecided, independent, in the middle, they recognize there are no people left to dissuade and want to turn out their bases of support. campaigns usually do not make that turn until october, because the number of undecided people isn't low enough to justify it
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until october, but right now, the number of undecided beam is so low, apparently it's justified, at least the mitt romney campaign feels that way. that turn for them is happening now. apparently, for them, the economy is over. now it's time to rile the base, so you get, what i believe, is the obviously and purposely obviously racist ad, the obama didn't visit israel ad, and you get the contraception ad. there have long been only two pages in the mitt romney for president campaign playbook, there's the economy and then there's anything else he needs to resort to in order to excite the republican base. he only has one page to turn, and he has now turned it in the second week of august. mitt romney actually had a very focussed jobs, jobs, jobs message. that is what his entire campaign was trying to focus on for months. that appears to be over. according to them, it is now time to talk to the conservative base, so instead of jobs, jobs, jobs, it's now jobs, jobs, abortion. choose to do.
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"the rachel maddow show" as an entity has been a really big fan of u.s. women's soccer. group outings to local establishment in the morning hours to drink beer when we're not supposed to drink beer, but to watch them play live, cheering in the newsroom when we're supposed to be working, waggling of our official team usa scarf, the whole bit. today was a great day for the u.s. women's soccer team. for all the legitimately spine
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tingly prideliness of today's development on the women's soccer pitch, there's someone, something, that tops it. i cannot wait for the best new ing in the world tonight. it's coming up. [ man ] you think that jason bourne was the whole story? ♪ who is he? it's aaron cross. he's an outcome agent. we should go. if there is hell, now would be the time to bring it on. ♪ ♪ what are you gonna do? [ cross ] i'm gonna finish what he started. [ male announcer ] "the bourne legacy." rated pg-13.
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the co-chair of the fundraising team for mitt romney in the state of florida is the chief executive of this. full sale university, and the reason i said the mitt romney campaign florida fundraising co-chair is the chief executive and not the president is because full sale university is a business, a for-profit institution, and when mitt romney gets asked policy questions about higher education, he often brings up for-profit colleges, and specifically, he often brings up full sale university, that specific school. that happens to be run by his fundraising co-chair. >> i was in a place in florida called full sale university. they provide a four-year degree for people in the entertainment world, production, media, broadcast, and so forth. they hold down the cost of their
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education by recognizing they are competing. >> full sale university, cited by mr. romney, is the example of how to hold down the cost of education. it costs $81,000 to do a 21-month program in video game art at full sale university. that's what mitt romney says is going to save america from high education costs. but it is run by mr. romney's florida fundraising co-chair, so that part of its finances is definitely looking good for america. beyond just the ceo being a major romney fundraiser, it should also be noted full sale university is also owned by the private equity fund. the new york times reported this front-page story earlier this year on mr. romney's financial ties for the for-profit college industry he promotes as a candidate, they also note for that video game degree program, the one that costs $81,000, the on-time graduation rate is 14%.
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the total graduation rate is only 38%, but whether or not you actually graduate, the median debt taken on by students to pay for that program is $59,000. this is a lot of things, but a solution to the high cost of higher education, it is not one of those things. here's another detail. in june of this year, just a couple of months ago, the website gibill.com had to be handed over to the federal government. it turns out gibill.com had been bought by a marketing company in california. it looked like an official government portal where you might go to figure out how to apply for and use your gi bill benefits if you are a veteran, but really this marketing firm that owned gibill.com was capturing the data unsuspecting veterans entered into that website looking for official help, then they were selling that data to for-profit colleges. the marketing company settled in an agreement and paid a
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multimillion dollar fine and handed over the website, now it kicks you over eventually to the real v.a. website about your real benefits, which should not result in a million high-tactic phone calls from universities trying to get you to use your points to pay for something like a $81,000 video game program that has a 14% graduation rate. mitt romney as a presidential candidate is not just tied to full sale university, though, he has generally been a big proponent of this industry. he's going to be speaking at another for-profit college this week. in doing so very aggressively, had the effect of putting a real spotlight on this incredibly period of timable industry and how much we are all paying them to become so profitable. a report was released on the for profit college industry. the report was not good.
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>> for-profit colleges charge exorbitant tuition while experiencing sky-high drop-out rates. how are they able to recruit a steady stream of new students? the answer is that for-profit colleges are what i would call a marketing machine. >> whether or not you graduate, whether or not your degree is worth anything in terms of getting you a job, perhaps in the video game art field, whether or not you are able to ever repay the loans that you took out to be able to pay for these expensive programs, the business model of the for-profit school industry is to market to you aggressively, to get you to sign up. to then get you to take out loans to pay your tuition to the school, and then to cash those loan checks. they get paid and you owe the money to whoever gave you the loan. and more often than not, the entity that gave you the loan is the federal government. in the 2009 school year,
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for-profit schools got paid $32 billion in federal money. one out of every four dollars the education department put out in student aid went to a for-profit school. this is students taking out federally supported student loans to pay these schools. the reason we do that is because there's supposed to be a national interest in helping americans get a valuable public education, but the more loans a student can take out, the more money these students could potentially soak out of them. the more eligible you are as a student for loans, the more beautiful you are as a marketing target for these schools, and so if you are a post-9/11 veteran eligible for the post-9/11 g.i. bill, for these schools, you are a very, very beautiful target indeed. since the post-9/11 g.i. bill took effect almost three years ago right now, eight of the ten colleges collecting the most money have been for-profit schools. as taxpayers, we are paying for
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veterans' higher education. that's what the g.i. bill means. we have a national interest in doing that, and these schools are marketing aggressively to veterans to our federal taxpayer money is going to them, the for-profit schools. it's $4,600 to pay for a ve tan to go to public school. it's more than $10,000 for that same veteran to go to a for-profit school, and at that for-profit school, what we get for our extra money is a lower graduation rate, higher student loan default rate, and a whole lot of profit to make sure these marketing machines are very, very, very well politically connected. joining us now is tom tarantino, chief policy officer for iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, which is a non-partisan organization i support. tom, thank you very much for being here. appreciate your time. >> thanks for having me, rachel. >> is it your experience as a veteran and working with vets that post-9/11 veterans are
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specifically being targeted by for-profit schools? >> absolutely. this is largely because of loopholes created before the g.i. bill actually existed that classified the g.i. bill as private funding. we have controls on for-profit schools so they don't abuse the system, so they have some element of free market control that says we can have 90% of your revenue can come from the federal government, but 10% has to come from customers who want to buy your product. in terms of business, it's kind of the best deal going, but because of a loophole, that 10%, the g.i. bill falls in that 10% of private dollars, so do d.o.d. tuition assistance benefits. so that means for every veteran or military member that a for-profit school can recruit, that's nine more people on federal financial aid, equaling about $125,000 in revenue per veteran. that's a huge incentive to line
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their pockets with benefits instead of providing the service they are supposed to be providing. >> in terms of the service they are providing, though, the rejoinder from these schools is that veterans are signing up in disproportionate numbers in for-profit schools because it's a good deal, a good way to get an education because it meets the needs of military families and the constraints and posts by being a veteran or being in the military. what about that argument from them? >> there is a little bit of something to that, but the reality is when 40% of all of your -- all of your revenue is spent on marketing and recruiting and it's laser targeted at the military and veterans benefits. when i was a young officer and getting my inbrief on my education benefits, it wasn't telling me about how much i could use or where i could go to college, it was a for-profit school marketing directly to me saying i could get this master's degree from this for-profit college. they have unprecedented access, so it's very hard for veterans to make a determination what
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schools to go to. i could find out how much every piece of sushi ten miles of me costs using my phone, but no way how to compare schools. there's no yelp for higher education and that's causing problems for veterans looking around and trying to figure out what schools best fit their needs. sometimes it is an online college. there actually are very good for-profit colleges, but they are being drowned out by these large behemoths. >> president obama signed an executive order back in april aimed at at least part of these problems, deceptive recruiting, overly aggressive recruiting by schools. did that help at all? >> i think it is going to help. it did three important things, told all schools they need to report basic consumer information metrics. there's a lot of information coming out of the department of education, but really hard to sift through and doesn't help consumers very much. it also trade marks the phrase
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g.i. bill so these marketing websites and for-profit schools that want to create these deceptive websites can't use the phrase g.i. bill. most importantly, it allows veterans who were scammed by for-profit schools some way to not just complain, but to actually get some sort of redress. >> tom tarantino, chief policy officer for iraq and afghanistan veterans of america. tom, thanks for helping us understand this tonight. i appreciate it. >> thank you for having me, rachel. apologize and retract. those are two things perpetrators of irresponsible news stories ever do. i have a prime candidate for both of those things next. you have a plan? first we're gonna check our bags for free, thanks to our explorer card. then, the united club. my mother was so wrong about you. next, we get priority boarding on our flight i booked with miles. all because of the card. and me. okay, what's the plan? plan? mm-hmm.
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i love the associated press. you love the associated press. whether or not you are aware of how much you love them, the fact is that if you are at all a news junkie, if you're reading over the course of your typical day, you are basically marinating in associated press content all day long. the a.p. is everywhere, jointly owned by the american news organizations that use their stuff. that means thousands of newspapers and tv stations and radio stations, they have hundreds of news bureaus all over the world. they have staff all over the world. they are the only news organization, for example, with a bureau in north korea, for by sheer size, the associated
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press is indispensable, they are everywhere, but because they are everywhere, because their content is ubiquitous, when the associated press does something bad, it's really bad. it isn't like one newspaper printing one lousy story. if it's the a.p., it's one bad story that ends up in a zillion different newspapers and websites and tv stations and radio stations, so, for example, when the associated press published a shockingly bad article this past week, it did not just end up in some tragic little kansas newspaper, it ended up in the kansas city star and the fresno bee, "the charlotte observer" and "the "miami herald" and "the state" in south carolina. the "st. louis post dispatch." and in the "connecticut post" and "atlanta journal constitution." and, and, and. all these papers or their
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websites running an eye-popping associated press story that never should have run anywhere. dr. george tiller was murdered in kansas three years ago when the anti-abortion activist who killed him was pulled over by police right after the killing, the murderer had in his car the name and phone number of the policy director operation rescue written on a piece of paper on his dash board. operation rescue, the radical anti-abortion group. the associated press on friday published a piece about the kansas primaries this week focusing on the district attorney's race in wichita where dr. tiller was killed. the a.p. notes that the incumbent d.a., a democrat named kn nola fu nola fulston is stepping down and no democrat is stepping up to replace her. it's fwlin this piece that it's a liability for one of these two
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republican candidates that he has a deputy in the d.a.'s office he's now running to be put in charge of. why would that be a liability to be a deputy district attorney? why would that be bad? it's because, the associated press explains, people blame the current district attorney for the murder of george tiller. what? this is just astonishing. look at this. this is quoting directly from the a.p.'s story. look at this. it's important to note that scott roede, the abortion opponent sentenced for killing dr. tiller said he believed dr. tiller would never be brought to justice as long as nola fulston was in office. brought to justice? that's not in quotes, that's how the associated press describes it. continuing, nola fulston wouldn't allow tiller to be
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prosecuted in her district. while fulston insisted she was simply upholding the law, many abortion opponents blame her for derailing klein's prosecution and ultimately for dr. tiller's death. if nola folston had done her job with dr. till erk he wouer, he be alive today. operation rescue, quoted as a credible source. he didn't get prosecuted so obviously he had to be shot, so says operation rescue. and so writes down the associated press. thus resulting in newspapers all over the country printing this absolutely whack-a-doo uncontested more than insinuation that an abortion doctor was murdered in kansas because what? he needed killing? because he hadn't been brought
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to justice? incidentally, the assistant d.a. from nola foulston's office won the primary on tuesday in kansas. that's not what this is about. i love the associated press and you probably do, too. but the a.p. besmirched tuesday's kansas primary with this trash that they published about it this past friday. i haven't said anything about it until now because i keep expecting them to retract it. so far nothing. before this week is out, the associated ought to retract what they published and they ought to apologi apologize. [ male announcer ] this is sheldon, whose long dy setting up the news
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ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 so don't let the current situation take you off course. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 talk to chuck. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 we believe small things can make a big difference.e, like how a little oil from here can be such a big thing in an old friend's life. we discovered that by blending enhanced botanical oils into our food, we can help brighten an old dog's mind so he's up to his old tricks. it's just one way purina one is making the world a better place... one pet at a time. discover vibrant maturity and more at purinaone.com. best new thing of the year. you notice the staff got a little bit obsessed with the soccer team in the world cup. they went to the finals of the world cup but lost an absolute heart break egg to dia opinion
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for the world cup championship match. and right after that, we were honored to host four team usa members here on this show. i was very nervous. it was very cool. well, the rachel maddow show obsession with the soccer team has not stopped. and today, as you probably already heard, the u.s. soccer team got vindication. they beat the team who beat them in the world cup. they beat japan to win today's olympic gold medal match in soccer. yay! whew! now, naturally we took totally unjustifiable pride in our role in this victory, in team usa cease golden moment. they came on our show at one point at olast year. certainly that propelled them to victory, right? certainly you feel pride. but there are folks at home taking tremendous pride tonight in an american winning a gold
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medal in the olympics. and unlike us, they deserve it big time. last night, we reported the story of clarissa shields. her hometown has gone all in. she's been boxing since she was 11. today, claressa shields fought for the gold medal in the middleweight boxing division. more than 300 of her fellow flinters watched the fight on tv there. more than 100 people, more than 100 other people watched and cheered at the auditorium at northwestern high school where she goes to school. she's not even a high school senior yet. four rounds of fury later, the fighting pride of flint, michigan, emerged the winner. claressa shields became the greatest female middleweight
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boxer in u.s. history. we e-mailed with claressa's principal today who wrote this to us, the principal said what you saw was a young lady who had a goal and she worked toward the goal achieving her dream through shear work and determination. unlike the other ladies boxing, up until she left for the olympics, claressa still had school, papers to write, scheduling early finals. with that smile, you saw the true claressa. this young lady, once you speak with her, you would think you've known her all your life. i'm sure she will set new goals and obtain them. she'll only be 21 for the rio olympics. a 17-year-old giving everything she's got for her country and her hometown, yes. that's an olympic story we have seen. but this particular hometown giving everything it's got for its pride and joy and an olympic gold medal to show for it. flint has taken some hard knocks, but team claressa in flint, you are the best new thing in the world today. that does it for us tonight. now it's time for "the last
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word" with lawrence o'donnell. mitt romney enlists the departed pope in his campaign against barack obama. while harry reid continues to press the tax issue, signalling to his fellow democrats, be not afraid. trouble in sherwood forest. >> president obama stepped up his critique of mitt romney today. >> the centerpiece of mitt romney's entire economic plan is a new $5 trillion tax cut. he expects the middle class to pick up the tab to pay for it. >> one of the greatest ideas, something known as the ryan plan. >> governor romney wants a culture war. >> who shares your values? declare war on religion. go against their faith? >> what was he thinking? >> i'm not exactly what the romney campaign is trying to accomplish. >> trouble in sherwood forest. >> why doesn't governor romney have the same kind of hold as the activist wing in his party
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that barack obama has. >> if he had been in massachusetts under romney's health care plan they would have had health care. >> to respond to this plan by citing health care in massachusetts? >> omg, this might just be the moment mitt romney lost the election. >> they all go crazy. >> if she isn't fired and off the campaign tomorrow -- >> i like being able to fire people. >> they saw there's going to be a problem. >> democrats are unified. >> america has a serious choice to make. >> are you calling mitt romney a liar? >> yes. >> he is the worst republican in the country to put up against barack obama. >> we don't run chris christie, romney will be the nominee and we will lose. i'm chris hayes in for lawrence o'donnell tonight. two national polls

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